Introducing Kakegawa Omatsuri | Stunning Scenery of Japan | Japan Highlights Travel, for sightseeing around Tokaido

A giant lion which appears once every three years and dances wildly around the town

Several days of gorgeously decorated floats parading the town, stopping here and there to be accompanied by festival music. The applause of the crowd swells noticeably when the giant lion who weighs 220 kg and whose body measures 25 m in length makes its appearance. The spectacular "Ojishi", held once every three years, is one of the three major events of the Kakegawa Omatsuri and involves some 100-plus people becoming one and dancing energetically with the lion. This festival began during the Edo period and has since grown into a happening in which 7 shrines and 41 towns take part. Comparing the different features of the floats, hand dances and lion dances which have been passed down in each district is one of the most interesting aspects of the festival.

※ Views like the one shown in the photo can only be seen under certain conditions (time of day, weather etc.).

  • Viewing period:
  • The next festival will be held in October, 2018
  • Challenge level:
  • ★★☆
  • Feeling:
  • Overwhelming

Travel advice

Kakegawa Matsuri is held around the second Saturday and Sunday of October. The Omatsuri held once every three years is held for four days and the Komatsuris in the years between are held for three days. Visitors are asked to stay on the sidewalk and not to touch the floats and lanterns while watching the event. All the events can be seen from the "Omatsuri Hiroba" at the halfway point between JR Kakegawa Station and Kakegawa Castle.

The pleasure of travel: Kakegawa Omatsuri

Kakegawa was once a post town as well as a castle town. Enjoy a stroll around Kakegawa Castle with its deep connection to the history of Kakegawa Matsuri, and the castle town which still retains its good old Edo ambience. Hatagoya inns such as "Kawazakaya" and "Yorozuya" will get you into the mood and make you feel like a proper wayfarer traveling along the Tokaido. Kakegawa, blessed with rich nature and a warm climate, grows an abundance of agricultural produce including tea leaves, vegetables and fruit. Fresh agricultural produce is sold at roadside stations and local specialty shops, and can be relished in dishes prepared with fresh local ingredients at restaurants within the city. There is a comprehensive variety of sweets made with local specialty tea.

Hatagoya "Kawazakaya"

Deep-steamed green tea confectionery shop Kimikura

updated on Mar 24, 2016